So pay some goddamn attention, President Obama! Erasmus Baxter, a senior at Garfield High School, tells me by phone that police at the Federal Building in downtown Seattle are currently "just standing off to the side and watching," rather that moving in to make arrests—even though the students plan to block the entrance for an hour.
"The effects of climate change aren’t just abstract. It’s something that’s going to affect us and our children. And we need to make a concrete step," Baxter says. About few dozen of them marched from Cal Anderson Park down to the building. (Washington Governor Jay Inslee today announced a bunch of non-concrete steps, by the way, to combat climate change.)
At the federal building. #nokxl #youthinaction pic.twitter.com/jUHZr65sek
— Alex Garland (@AGarlandPhoto) April 29, 2014
Why aren't they taking selfies or loitering at a park on a sunny day like today, like normal young people? Baxter explains that over 95,000 people have signed up online for the "Pledge of Resistance" to carry out acts of civil disobedience against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil dredged up from Canadian tar sands to refineries in the southern United States.
But the pledge's age cutoff is 18. Two students from Nathan Hale High School decided to act anyway, and they recruited Baxter to handle media relations because he writes for his school's newspaper.
"We’re trying to kill that myth of the apathetic young person," he says. "We’re very opposed to the pipeline and if more actions are necessary, that’s what we’re going to do...you [President Obama] may have delayed it, but we’re not forgetting about it," Baxter says. And neither are you, dear Slog reader—right?